Sunday, September 30, 2007

Don't Fear the Morass

I was having an IM conversation that went like this:

Paddles: so have u never been attracted to anyone? u dont have to tell me

Ily: I've been attracted to about 2 people

Paddles: but then u do get attracted to people

Ily: Yeah, I do, but it's like once every 10 years

Ily: I think that's different from most people

A few minutes before this, I was watching some of the old media videos on AVEN. You know, just trying to acquire some witty sayings for my interview this week. I heard a lot of, “I’ve never been attracted to anyone. At all. Ever.” I know that when you’re on national TV, it behooves you to speak in monolithic terms. But in case you’re wondering if that experience is true for all of us A-s…it isn’t. I have been attracted to people, albeit briefly. Most notably, to two guys who I’ll call W and E. Let’s have sharing and caring time:

Both W and E were friends of friends. I found them both extremely attractive, although if you asked me “in what way?” I couldn’t tell you. I always felt excited and schoolgirly around W, and had the strong feeling that I wanted him to be my boyfriend. What we would do when the lights went out is anyone’s guess, but there you have it. My experience with E was roughly the same, although I didn’t want to be in a relationship with him (one of my good friends liked him as well, and I was actually hoping they would get together). Also, this happened: For about 10 seconds, when we were sitting out in the park together, looking over at E caused me to have feelings I’d never had before. I was so confused that I described them in my journal. The next day, I went back and re-read what I’d written. I realized that I’d described sexual attraction. And yes, it lasted for under a minute. That was the only time I’ve experienced sexual attraction in my entire life. But it was there.

And another commonly asked question in interviews of asexuals: “If you could take a pill to make you sexual, would you do it?”
Of course, the brave Aces being interviewed always answer with a resounding “No!” In that situation, I would probably do the same. But here, in the relative seclusion of this blog, I can be honest with you. If someone offered me a ‘sexual’ pill, I’d have to think long and hard before giving an answer. But maybe I wouldn’t need the pill—perhaps being sexual is something that already lurks inside me. Maybe if I had been able to date W or E, we would have gone on to have a completely “normal”, wonderful heterosexual relationship. Or, since I was a closeted asexual at the time, it could have been a disaster.
I’ll never know.
One thing’s for certain: sexuality is a confusing, convoluted, tangled-up beast of a concept. I don’t think that calling it a “morass” would be over-the-top. Okay, maybe a little.
I guess everyone’s sexuality could change one day, but when people tell us “maybe you haven’t met the right person yet”, it seems painfully irrelevant—what about how we are right now?
I’m A right now, and I always have been. If it’s been contradictory at times, so what? That’s the nature of this crazy thing called sexuality.
But even if I realize, in two days or two decades, that I’m secretly heterosexual, I will always support the A-Team. Play on, players.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Something More Productive (Like Roscoe)

So, I really need to get on a schedule of posting, the Gods of Blogs say it must be so. I'm thinking roughly every other day. So now if you want to plan your life around Asexy Beast, you sort of can. And no, that would not freak me out at all.
Now, on to today's unbridgeable gap of understanding:
It's not going to work to get all the people for this SF community from AVEN. The people that spend time hanging out on an internet forum are probably not the same kinds of people that would want to meet lots of random strangers out in 3-D land. Now, I could be totally wrong here. Maybe everyone today hangs out on forums, and I just don't know about it. I also know some pretty anti-social people who don't hang out on forums. So my theory isn't perfect. But I think there's a grain of truth in it somewhere.
I know that schools are a good place to recruit more Aces. But that's the problem right there-- recruiting. If you're questioning your sexuality, the odds are that you're gay, not A. Our deviant lifestyle is not for the faint of heart, and I don't want to misguide anyone. There's also the danger of seeming somewhat...cultish. And I have this...thing...well, it's kind of...more like a...phobia about cults. And I know we're not a cult, but the idea that someone else might think that really chills me. There's also the factor of, to quote my doctor: "I know you hate school." Great. That was supposed to be my big secret.
Schools usually have GLBT organizations already, which could be fruitful. But can't someone who actually goes to school full-time do this? It's obnoxious of me, but I feel like it's a better job for someone else.
Really, every venue of publicity has a downside. What's an organizer and perfectionist to do?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reading Is Cool, Kids

My list of books to read is longer than ever-- and since I'm taking a class that actually has its own reading, I'm not moving through the list with any great speed. However, here are some books that you might hear about again in the distant future. Surpassing the Love of Men was referenced a few times in Boston Marriages, it's called a classic, and seems like fascinating, while rather dense, reading.
I also found a book called We're Just Good Friends: Women and Men in Nonromantic Relationships. Apparently it is "a much needed scholarly, but accessible, treatise of a topic which fascinates us all but which has been neglected by investigators of relationships". This topic is, of course, friendship between presumably sexual men and women. The inclusionary part of me wants to say, "Of course men and women can be friends! We can all be friends!" but in the back of my mind, I'm incredulous. When Harry told Sally that men and women could never be friends because sex always gets in the way, what can I say? I believed it. It seemed logical to me.
Even though, as an asexual woman, Harry's edict might not apply to me, I haven't had a male best friend since elementary school-- maybe my girliness gets in the way. Okay, We're Just Good Friends. Blow my mind.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Everybody, Break Your Bottles

Safe and warm at home, full of yummy linguine and thoroughly freaked out after watching Disc 3 of Dexter (partly because the show has lots of blood, and partly because I accidentally watched the episodes out of sequence-- oh no!), I'm not in a particularly fought-up mood.
But I have my moments. And during these more aggressive moments, I think about how awesome it would be to have an asexual riot.
I realize that riots are spur-of-the-moment things, and can hardly be incited by a blog post. I also know that, at least to my knowledge, the most Aces to ever gather together in San Francisco has been 6 people. Seeing as there are at least 15 police officers eating pizza around the corner right now, sending the half-dozen of us out into the streets to fight it out might be unwise.
I think it's the cinematic quality that appeals to me-- slow-motion, the arc of flying objects, the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't it Be Nice" playing in the background. Not to mention that the Stonewall riot, as most of us have heard, is usually called the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. I'm not sure that asexuality is in need of a rights movement, but it would be nice (you can really cue Pet Sounds for anything) for people to know we exist, even if they are kind of scared of us forevermore.
I've shared this funny vision with people, and I always get the question: "But what would you/we riot for?" Sex is visceral and physical, and there has always been a strange relationship between sex, violence, and control. If we lack the drive to have sex, do we also lack the drive to be fiery and passionate? I'd answer "no", although I think it might be less obvious in our case. I don't think passion is related to sexuality. Just read any advice column ("Dear Ily-- my husband just isn't into it, is it me?") for examples of this. I see no reason why Aces couldn't throw barstools with the best of them-- and we won't be distracted by that cutie rioting over to the left, either.
If we haven't rioted, I don't think it's for lack of reasons. True, we can blend in better than the drag queens who rioted at Stonewall. But does being able to lie back and take it for England mean that we should? I give a big "NO" and a raised beer bottle to that. I won't break it on your head, though. Beer is expensive in this city. I'll just raise a toast to asexual passion, wherever it may find us.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Brand New Bag! Yow!

Well, the SF community is getting a new concept-- "fun", cotton candy n' bowling Meetups every month, and Office Hours every week. Every week seems like an awful lot, but I get the feeling that if they're bi or tri-weekly, no one will be able to remember when they are-- and I'm including myself in that group. Since I'm no longer a student (which is a ridiculous thing to think, since I actually AM a student...I'm just in denial), it seems a bit odd to be hanging out in a coffee shop so much. I mean, if no one shows up, what am I supposed to do? But the 3DB does have you do the math.
I'm modeling this after what the Vancouver folks are doing right now. Re-inventing the wheel sucks, so hurrah! for finally not having to.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ily's Checkered Past

I had a good friend who might have been asexual. When I was about 18 or 19, my friend declared that she wouldn't have a problem 'dying a virgin'. I said something like, "Are you CRAZY?!?!" There is a piece of folklore that you must 'lose your virginity' (I'm doing air quotes because I think it's such a dumb term to use when we're talking about asexuals and not Catholic schoolgirls) before college ends, or some sort of terrible fate will befall you. With my "OMG HELL NO" reaction, I played right into this myth and into my own internalized A-Phobia.
Yes folks, A-Phobia.
Let me give you one more scenario. I was about 20 years old at the time. Hanging out with the "Who do YOU have a crush on?" girls, I mumbled that I did not have a crush. One of these girls (a very good friend, I might add), said, "well, maybe you're asexual." My reply: "I AM NOT!!!"
Indeed, the lady doth protest too much. Hindsight's 20/20 vision tells me now that my defensiveness was really my own internalized A-Phobia. I didn't hate asexuals or hate myself. I was just trying to protect myself from the difficulties that can come from questioning your orientation. But by postponing the inevitable, I can't say I made my life any easier.
Once you realize you're asexual (or anything else, for that matter), you can't take it back. I held out as a heterosexual until I just couldn't take it anymore. I'm glad I was eventually able to take my place on the A-Team and to find others like me. Finally being honest with myself was liberating. I wish I could say that all my A-Phobia is behind me, but I know that as long as our society tells us that A-s shouldn't exist, I will continue to struggle with it. Our friend Wikipedia says:

[Internalized homophobia] may cause extreme repression of homosexual desires. In other cases, a conscious internal struggle may occur for some time, often pitting deeply held religious or social beliefs against strong sexual and emotional desires. This discordance often causes clinical depression, and the unusually high suicide rate among homosexual teenagers (up to 30% of non-heterosexual youth attempt suicide) has been attributed to this phenomenon.

I'm not trying to steal the thunder from the issue of homophobia. But I think internalized A-Phobia is just as much as problem for us as internalized homophobia is for gay folks. I think our risk for depression is just as high, and for the same reasons. I know that visions of depressed asexuals isn't good for our PR, but as our community becomes more cohesive, this is an issue that will need to be addressed. We'll need to help each other through this. When I yelled "I AM NOT!!!" being asexual seemed like a social death sentence. Now I know better. But how many of us are still assuming that it is?

Friday, September 21, 2007

From the Hypothetical Mailbag

Q: Is Dexter [the title character from Showtime's TV series] batting for the A-Team?

A: That's an interesting question. As those with cable (and now that Season 1 is out on DVD, the rest of us) know, Dexter is a functioning serial killer. Sure, he only kills people that "deserve" it, like murderers who go unpunished, but that's beside the point. And the point? That even though Dexter's sexuality is ambiguous, that's really the least of his problems.

I've seen 4 episodes of the show, and I'm liking it so far, even though it has lots of flashbacks. (If there's one thing that annoys me, it's flashbacks.) Oddly enough, Dexter's (so far, non-sexual) relationship with his girlfriend, Rita, and her kids is extremely cute and sweet. Since Rita is recovering from a domestic abuse situation, she doesn't feel comfortable having sex. And since Dexter is a sociopath, this doesn't seem to bother him. However, there was one episode where Dexter was helping Rita plant a tree in her yard, and I was thinking, "Oh gosh, this is the cutest thing ever, I want a boyfriend to help me plant a tree and then not want to have sex! Eee!" That's right, folks. Our only pop-culture model for a good asexual relationship is with a serial killer. Wow, that's kind of messed up.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Scotland's For Me!

Yesterday I picked up the album A Guide For The Daylight Hours by the band Ballboy. I tried it on the strength of the awesome song "You Can't Spend Your Whole Life Hanging Around With Arseholes", and found the rest of the album to be, while not quite as kick-ass as "Arseholes", pretty good as well. The band is also Scottish, which always wins brownie points with me (I have a mysterious, lifelong fascination with all things Scottish). And imagine my pleasure in finding an asexy song on the record! I can't agree with the writer's dislike of hip-hop, trip-hop, and punk rock, but I can relate to his attitudes about both sex and house music.
Good Lord, did I have a bad experience with house music once.
But that's neither here nor there. On with the lyrics:

"Sex is Boring" by Ballboy (2003)

take me back to your room
tie me up and strip me naked
and lie me on your floor
and then you'll see that sex is boring with me
it's not what i came here for
it's not what i came here for

you know about hip hop and
you know about trip hop and
you know about punk rock and
you know about house music
and house music, house music is the greatest thing of all

and you've read more books than i
i could ever read and you
you've seen more films than i
i could ever see so
why is it, why is it, that you don't know any more than me

and i hate hip hop and i
i hate trip hop and i
i hate punk rock and i
i hate house music
because house music, house music never meant anything at all to me.

so take me back to your room
tie me up and strip me naked
and lie me on your floor
and then you'll see that sex is boring with me
it's not what i came here for
it's not what i came here for

and it's not like you are going to save me
although you think you are

and i've got miles to go before i sleep
and you're not going to save me
although you think you are

Totally asexy, right? There is also a song on the album called "I Wonder if You're Drunk Enough to Sleep With Me Tonight". Music for every part of the spectrum-- that's actually pretty cool.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Much-Threatened Meetup, Debriefed

I had a feeling my threat would work, and it did: we got 4 people tonight!
(And I really like the 3 Dollar Bill Cafe...affordable food/drinks, Christmas lights, and large groups of gay men discussing books- what's not to like?)
I really feel like I need to entertain people at meetups, which I usually fail at, so I hope that people were sufficiently entertained by whatever conversation went on. But anyway, I was psyched to see everyone and to break out my "A-Team" sign again. Thanks to the cool folks that braved the wind to come hang out.
Sometimes (okay, a lot) I think back to my last community-building experience. It didn't end very well, bringing cold hard realizations and a slight loss of general hope that has sort of stayed with me ever since. My logical mind knows that you can't disband a sexual orientation. Whether or not we find a way to convene, the A-Team has always been here, and is here to stay. But even when our community sees glimpses of growth, another part of me (oh! my heart!) seems to think something akin to this: always finds that one is oneself, that there is a unity in life, and that everything leads back, whatever one does, to a specific constellation of things which one tends to reproduce, under various forms, an unlimited number of times.
--Michael Leiris, Manhood, 1946 (found in the absolutely gorgeous Exotica by David Toop)

Oy. Let's keep proving ourselves wrong, A-teamers and friends.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

September Gurls

No need to adjust your screen, it really is "Gurls". And I have to admit, I'm not the first person to confess my love for "September Gurls" . I think it was an essay by Michael Chabon that first alerted me to the perfection of these lyrics, from the aforementioned song by Big Star:

I loved you. Well, never mind.

It's simplicity incarnate. I can't possibly explain the line any better than it explains itself.
While some people's romantic adventures could write novels, it is, on some level, comforting to know that mine can be encapsulated by one line of a 2 minute, 49 second song.
About every five years or so, I'll be attracted to someone. I relish the excitement and the sense of social normalcy that it brings me. But for fairly obvious reasons, it never lasts very long-- on average, maybe about a week. Longest? Maybe about two months. Shortest? About two seconds. Like many other unnamed victims, I am just one more casualty of the "Ohmigosh! Who do YOU have a crush on?" girls. I was always a little jealous of the girls with crushes. Yes, they haunt me still. My indifference towards cute boys was extrapolated into indifference towards girly bonding rituals, and perhaps the entire human race. I would wish that someday soon, I could find someone attractive again, if only to remember what everyone else was so enthusiastic about.
Usually, it never happened.
But when inserted into jaunty power-pop, maybe the way I've felt is fine after all. Put "September Gurls" on loop (it's short), and suddenly, never minding never sounded so good.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Excuses, Excuses

I have to be a busy busy recording bee this weekend (you! dude! what is this microphone!), but I have not forgotten y'all. I'm just hoping I'll have time to make my "Anthony Bogaert Is My Homeboy" shirt before the meetup on Wednesday.
(Okay, I really don't know what to call these biweekly gatherings. "Biweekly gatherings" is way too long, and "meetups" sound more like one-time things. They're not really "office hours" yet, either...)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

On Investing

I get this a lot:
"So, are you out or not? I'm so confused!"
'Coming out' is always something that has confused me as well, and I've been thinking about the concept lately. While asexuals may not face the same prejudice that gay folks do, here is why it can be, in some cases, even harder to come out as asexual:
You: "Hey guys, I'm asexual!"
The Guys: "Um...what the hell does that mean?"
This could diminish anyone's enthusiasm for coming out.
I'm beginning to see the process as similar to investing. When you come out, it doesn't necessarily help you now, but it helps your group-- whatever it is you're coming out as-- some time in the future. In the moment, coming out could be anything from a relief to a terror. But one thing is certain- it will always help your group when you come out. Whether or not it helps you as an individual is a risk you take. And whether or not it's a change you'll actually be able to see is unknowable. In our society, power is conferred on those who can pass as "normal". And when you declare that you aren't normal (no matter how happy you are about this), some of your power as an individual is taken away. That's not a crazy idea, is it?
I think that in a lot of cases, Aces haven't met others like them. We may not know who's one of us, so why should we take one for the team by coming out? Any sort of "movement" among A-s is still in its infancy, so when we take that risk, we're not entirely sure what we're investing in.
That's why I think this local community thing is so important. If you actually, face-to-face, know some other A-s, you are connected in a way that you can't be online. A-teamery is the same as philanthropy; You're more likely to invest in someone sitting across from you than in someone across the world.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

He's Just Not That Into You

(Book, Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo, 2006[?])

A little over a year ago, I skimmed through a friend's copy of this book. I thought, "Hey, there's some good advice in here". We all know one, two, or 35 desperate women (of course, never you or I) who could do with a good shoulder-shake and some concerned intervention. This book offers that much needed "girl, HELLO!" and for that, we can be thankful.
So today, I was browsing through the Green Apple Books discount store (mmm, Green Apple, te amo!), and I saw a copy of Into You for $4. I thought I might buy it, and illuminate it for you here on this blog. Skimming again, I found the chapter called "he's just not that into you if he's not having sex with you". The first time I read this, it made me think "EW!", and the second time, my gag reflex was just as strong. Greg and Liz, as I fellow writer, I get it. "He's just not that into you if he's not having sex with you, except if he's part of a small group of asexual people" doesn't really have the punch that you're looking for. But couldn't we at least have gotten a sidebar about the 1% club? Instead, I found a sidebar about a survey of 20 men who all wanted to have sex with women they were into.
Again, we're coming in short on the "edu".
The whole situation is just not as simple as Into You makes it sound. And I think we damsels in distress can handle a higher level of complexity, even in a pink book. We may be desperate, but we're not stupid. And it just made me sad, thinking of all the people who I might be into, who will think I'm not really into them because I don't want to have sex with them-- with or without this book. It made me sad to remember how nonsexual relationships are still seen as inferior, and how much work it will take to change this. It made me sad to think that a #1 New York Times bestseller aimed towards young women who like pink (me me me!) still made me feel like I was from another planet.
Pop culture can be many things, but it should never be depressing.
So I didn't get the book. Instead, I got Pocky.
I think you'll understand.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ready For Our Closeup? Better Get a Microscope.

This film company has a documentary in the works called "Asexuality: The Making of a Movement".
Well, hot damn. I love me some edutainment, but pieces that actually bring the edu along with the tainment have not been too common. This film could help to change that trend-- I'm excited about it. I will, of course, keep you posted. And I hope this wasn't some sort of secret project...if so, my apologies.
And here is another famous asexual: The amoeba from Nick Park's Creature Comforts. According to Wikipedia (and my own memory), the amoeba's highly philosophical monologue is one of the show's highlights.

There, isn't he/she/it cute?
Sort of?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Boston Marriages, Last Part

Well folks, I finally finished this book.
It wasn't a hard read (always a good thing), although the personal stories did start getting tedious towards the end. You won't miss a whole heck of a lot by doing a little skimming. However, don't skim the final "Discussants" section. I found two of the book's best essays here. One was a sex therapist's response to the manuscript of Boston Marriages. Through sharing the book with a college class she taught, she started to re-evaluate the ways in which she assumed lesbian relationships should be treated. This is the mark of a real professional. It seems like a lot of 'experts' don't look critically at their own views; they think this close-mindedness proves their ideas' strength. In fact, I think it's quite the opposite, which is well-portrayed in this essay.
The second essay of "Discussants", "A Matter of Language", is a really lovely discussion of how quickly language fails us when we try to describe relationships that exist outside the mainstream.
The author calls Boston marriages revolutionary as an act of naming alone. If womens' rights are about women having choices, then by giving women the words to express another relationship, we just got another choice. And that is indeed a wonderful thing.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Kissing Jessica Stein

(film, dir. Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, 2002)

I don't hate this movie, as evidenced by the fact that last night was probably the third time I've seen it. It deals with how confusing sexuality can be, which is rare in films, but it does this with a hefty sense of humor. When talking about sexuality, a sense of humor is always essential.
For those that haven't had the pleasure, Jessica Stein is about Jessica Stein, a 28-year-old single, straight New Yorker who is having trouble finding a good man for her. She's an intellectual who loves Rilke, so when she sees a personals ad quoting the poet, she answers it on a whim, even though it's from a bisexual woman, Helen. Helen and Jessica begin a relationship, and things are going smashingly, except for the fact that Jessica is, well, not really into women sexually. This quote seems relevent:

Helen: I just find a lot of things sexy.
Jessica: Oh. I don't.

Not only is Jessica less than keen on ripping Helens's clothes off (as Helen states in the film), she also denies the nature of their relationship to the important people in her life. It was even more painful and awkward to watch this time around. Maybe because we're entering into-- dum dum dum dummm-- asexual reading between the lines land. Because a lot of us thought we were straight (or gay, or straight then gay, or straight then gay then bi, or any combination of these) for years, decades, or eons before realizing we were actually asexual, wanting to hold on for dear life to our last vestiges of straightness can seem all to familiar. And as bad as we feel for Helen when Jessica introduces her as "my friend from the gym", Jessica's fervent denial is all-to-common. How can it not be, when the society we live in is constantly trying to scare us straight?
Jessica also has an issue with being "too picky" when it comes to men, and "never thinking anyone's good enough for her". Now, not everyone who's picky is asexual, but I'm going to venture that most asexuals, at some time or another, have hidden behind the shield of "picky". It's an easy way to describe how you feel-- not being attracted to anyone-- without going into messy terms like "sex drive" or declaring that you actually have a different orientation. Or, other people might accuse us of being "picky" when we fail to acknowledge the hotness of that bartender or grocery bag boy. And because it makes equally no sense to say, "no, I'm not picky at all", what can we do but agree?
Proving the asexuality of fictional characters can be a circuitous route. But what's the harm in a little inference? I can't find any evidence in this film that Jessica isn't what some call a "romantic" asexual. It's important to remember that some asexuals do seek romantic relationships. And sometimes, we even wear dresses.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Do Not Want: The Asexual Revolution Gets Organized

(from Bitch magazine, article by KL Pereira, 2007)

I mentioned this article awhile ago, and it finally has hit newsstands! As you can imagine, I was super-excited when I picked up my copy today. And lo and behold, I found a very good intro for people who actually want to think intelligently about the topic. I'm glad that KL recognized the revolutionary potential that asexuality has, and that she was critical of the "looook at the freeeeaks!" finger-waggling present on Montel and other TV shows. I only found one point to be a bit of a reach: The idea that asexuality is controversial, in large part, because the "sex sells" mandate doesn't apply to us. But even if a company did try to market towards our 1%, I don't think it would be difficult. We may not want sex, but we still want love, security, money, power, and all those other lovely things promised by advertisers. I would venture that asexuality is controversial for a simple and familiar reason- that it subverts heteronormality. Although that might be another article altogether.
And my spell-check thinks heteronormality is not a word. Go figure.
Of course, I love that KL covered asexuality's brief forays into pop culture. She even mentioned Boston marriages! And I really enjoyed that she ended with this idea:

While exploring new kinds of rich and complex partnerships, perhaps we would realize just how valid all these types of intimacy are, not because they are pointed towards a specific orientation or sexual act, but because they are diverse expressions of human emotions that we all feel. Relating to the world and the people around you as individuals with unique emotional and physical needs? Now that's a revolution we should all get behind.

*Pumps fist*
Even I learned a thing or some sharks are asexual! Well hey now, and I thought sharks were cool anyway. Asexual sharks are just TOO cool.

And I've got to say, I was really pleasantly surprised by Bitch. I grumbled at the price of $5.95- much more expensive than most magazines. But then I figured out, hey: it's worth it, because it's a lot better that most magazines. Even though my eyes are not thanking me for the tiny print that is not double-spaced, it was packed with interesting information. And in a time when it seems like a lot of people have forgotten what feminism is (hi, women are equal, kthxbai), Bitch is holding it down, and even having a bit of fun doing it.
I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ily and Her Perfect Imperfections

It was a story of asexuality...of soy chai...of one woman's personal limitations!

I hope the SF A-Team doesn't think I'm threatening them...
but I did have to say:
If we can't get at least 3 people (including myself) at our next gathering, I really don't see the point of continuing these bi-weekly meets. I know that A-s are out there, but I am completely ignorant as to finding them. It can be frustrating to be so committed to a task that doesn't play to your strengths. I'm a writer and a "big picture" kind of person. I'm not good at organizing details.
But if you ever want to brainstorm, I'm your girl.
Or if you ever want a soy chai.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SWF Seeks Decent Human Beings

I've been on one date. 3, if you count sorority functions. 2, if you count sorority functions + dates that were actually available. None of these were great experiences, and my most successful of these dates was with the non-available guy-- he gave me a really good idea for a term paper.
It's pretty lame that managing to avoid the convoluted hole of doom that is dating (seriously- who LIKES dating?) is something to be embarrassed about. I don't feel embarrassed, but a tad bit silly, now that's another story. I often feel a tad bit silly.
But look at this! It's a dating site for A-s! I helped write some of the blurbs, but that is not why I feel compelled to tell you that a dating site for A-s is a very cool idea. I'm not entirely sure what asexuals would do on a date, but one day I would like to find out. Although I'm curretly the only person on the site from the entire US West Coast, so I have a feeling I won't be beating them away with a stick anytime too soon.
Look at this this way-- Jews are about 2-3% of the US population, and a good number of us want/expect to have relationships with/marry one another (Except for me, because I want to celebrate as many holidays as humanly possible). I mean, check out J-Date, which seems to be doing a rip-roaring business. One thing that helps Jews find other Jews to date is that we tend to congregate in certain areas-- New York City and environs, the SF Bay, and coming in for third, Florida.
C'mon everybody, we're moving to Florida! Beach partayyy!

Well, it's a thought.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Center of Attention

Our SF community-building continues! Kinda.
This week, I'm planning on scoping out "THE CENTER", aka the SF GLBT (that's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) Center, although it actually just calls itself "THE CENTER". I want to check out the place and find some corner where we can meet. I'm trying to figure out a balance of the two kinds of things I want to do: On one hand, meetups where we just shoot the breeze and do random stuff are fun, and I think people that are already involved like those better. On the other hand, "office hours"-type meetings, where we try to get organized and educate new people, are important too. Since we only meet biweekly, it seems hard to do both. It's kind of confusing to this organizer.
But anyway, I like the idea of being stationed at The Center. I really admire what GLBT people have, to a certain extent, been able to do for themselves. As up-and-comers in a similar search for validity, I think basking in the GLBT aura might be helpful for the A-Team. People used to whisper the word homosexual! in hushed tones, and now we watch The L Word. I think this took about 30 years. So when I realize that only one or two people might be coming to the next A-Team gathering, should I start seeing our small turnout as the beginning of a very long timeline? As a co-worker used to tell me, "don't trip off that". Hrumph.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Boston Marriages, Part Deux

I'm not done with Boston Marriages. This is a good thing, because it means I haven't been on any godawfully long bus trips. But even if I had been, this book would have been a good thing to take along. I'm enjoying it. Especially now that I've gotten past the theoretical articles and on to the personal stories. I've just finished one called "When we were whatever we were: Whatever it was that we had". I can only relate to the lesbian experience as far as it isn't the heterosexual experience, which isn't saying a lot. But there were definitely passages that made me go, "mmHMM" and even a bit of "Amen, sister!" Like this one:

I think a nonsexual relationship is functional. I think there are a lot of relationships in our lives that we don't give the importance we should because they're not sexual. One of the experiences I have had in San Francisco is that a lot of women I have become friends with have moved away. It's a very transitional city, and I feel very settled here. I feel if a friend is thinking of leaving town, she should come to me and say she's thinking of moving, what do I think. But they don't...I have very close lesbian friends, and I would like to see us have more options. We need words to say we're committed to each other, and that we will talk about life decisions together, but that we're not lovers. --Laura Moxie

So it's not only asexuals-- and I'm sure it's not only asexuals and lesbians either-- that can have trouble forming committed friendships in a society that's awfully wishy-washy about their existence. On the one hand, we (as women, I can't speak for the guys) are shown images of devoted Sex & the City-style friendships (see earlier post) and on the other hand, we're pressured to get and keep boyfriends and/or husbands. We're told our friends are not enough; that they won't love us as much as a boyfriend or husband will.
This story in Boston Marriages reminded me of the pain I felt when I realized I was much more committed to a friend than she was to me. It hurt like losing a romantic relationship would hurt, only I never received the closure. The story also reminded me of a straight female friend who once declared: "I would totally move across the country with a friend. What's so weird about that?" Indeed. If only more people were aware that it isn't 'weird' to share that view.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Our Myspaces, Ourselves

Think about asexual relationships for an hour and your head might start to hurt. Think about them for a year (or more), and you become unable to do those surveys on Myspace. Which is probably a good thing. But even so:

Did anyone see you kiss the last person you kissed? Um...if they did, they aren't talking.

Break someone's heart or have your heart broken?
Well, the Canvas Cafe did break my heart when it closed...forcing us to hang out at Tart to Tart, CANVAS YOU ARE HEARTLESS!

Who was the last person you couldn't take your eyes off?
That sentence needs an 'of'.

Are you in a relationship? Yeah of course, with my friends and family and co-workers and all the happy flowers and trees etc...

Have you ever been in love? I've been lucky enough to fall in love twice: with music and with London. When you're tired of London you're tired of life, right?

Do you believe in love at first sight? It's never happened to me, but then again, neither has schizophrenia.

Why did your last relationship fail? I knew it would happen eventually-- this question is a headache inducer.

Have you kissed someone within the last week? Thomas the kitten, I like to kiss his downy little head, awwww!

Hook-up or relationship? Well, if we're talking about 'relationships' as the author of this survey probably defines them...oh crap, any Myspace survey answer where you are using air quotes is destined to fail.

Oh, I could go on...